What's new in SIMS 2017?

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By Guest Writer
on 06 October, 2017

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What's new in SIMS 2017?

Looking back over the last few upgrades, Capita have come up with some new functionality within SIMS that schools have been raving about. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to try these out, there’s a quick reminder below before we continue with our What’s New section.

Free Interventions Module

In Spring 2017, Capita added a free Interventions Module in SIMS which enables you to monitor students who are not achieving as expected, and include them on a course of intervention measures. You are able to allocate additional resources, monitor how these resources are being utilised, and gauge their effect on Key Performance Indicators, as well as record the cost involved.

It is then possible to track the cost of intervention measures against overall effectiveness and the resulting student outcomes. This is a rather effective tool and easy to use.

This module can be found in SIMS > Focus > Interventions.

School Report

A couple of years ago, Capita released the School Report; but we have noticed that there are a limited number of schools making use of this excellent tool.

The School Report is available for primary and secondary schools and lists the key metrics of behaviour, attendance, attainment and progress, with additional filtering by Free School Meal (FSM), English as an additional Language (EAL), Pupil Premium, Looked After Children (LAC) and a host of other measures.

We believe senior members of staff will find this report to be the single most important strategic analysis tool available in SIMS.

To access this report click on Reports > School Report, select the parameters you would like to measure and click on generate. Hover over the SIMS icon at the bottom of the screen to preview the report

Web Address and Bulk Address Validation

An email was sent to all schools instructing them to run the Address and Bulk Address validation patches when they ran their SIMS and FMS Summer 2017 upgrades. The LA will soon be contacting all schools advising about this new functionality in SIMS. There are a number of advantages to using the WAV:

  • You can validate any new address
  • You can validate any existing addresses
  • Validating addresses will allocate UPRNs which is necessary for the Census
  • It saves time – you can select the address from a list by just typing in a postcode
  • You can be assured that your address data will be accurate
  • The LA will receive fewer errors which means you receive less rejection reports!
  • There will be a reduction in duplicate addresses.

SIMS Summer 2017 – What’s new?

As the summer term has come to an end, it is time to reflect on some new functionality that was introduced within SIMS Summer 2017 (7.176 Version).

Children Missing in Education (CME) now included in CTF 17

Since August 2017, CTF version 16 or 17 can now  be used for importing data into SIMS but only CTF 17 is to be used for export. CML and CMJ files are available as specific files within CTF 17 to help the LA maintain accurate records to meet the CME legislation.

  • CME (Leavers) creates a CML file that should be sent to the LA when a pupil leaves a school outside of what is considered a normal phased transfer.
  • CME (Joiners) creates a CMJ file that should be sent to the LA when a pupil joins a school outside of what is considered a normal phased transfer

GCSE PI reporting update

As you are well aware, Grades A* to G for GCSE exams in England have been replaced by grades 9 to 1 in English and maths; as a result, a new grade structure will be accommodated in the Performance Indicator report in SIMS.

Secondary schools in England will no longer need to import a performance measures file into SIMS but will need to update all qualifications in the performance indicators screen – this was introduced in the SIMS Spring Release and additional information is available in our dedicated ICT resource area to assist Exams Officers. (If you don’t have an account to access our resources get in touch using the form below.)

Agora is upping its game

SIMS Agora now has the facility to allow staff (as well as pupils) to pay for their school meals online, paving the way for schools to run a cashless canteen.

At the start of the new academic year, parents will be able to select their child’s school meals online for those schools that want to offer this facility.

In Touch - Unlimited text availability

Great news for those schools using SIMS InTouch, you now have the ability to purchase unlimited text messages as well as text bundles.

SIMS Teacher App – Windows functionality is now available

SIMS Teacher App now has windows functionality, which means that schools that use Windows tablets can use the Teacher App in the same way iPad users can.

This ultimately means that teachers can take attendance and dinner registers quickly and efficiently.

SIMS Activities – Making the most of School Clubs

Since this summer, schools are able to manage over-subscription of activities/clubs by creating a reserved list in SIMS Activities, and using this as an opportunity to gauge interest in new activities.

Capita will also be creating a new safeguarding feature to allow staff to not only monitor which children will be attending the activity, but how they will be getting home from the activity.

We are here to help

Remember, the School Workforce Census is on 2nd November 2017.

If you are interested in any of the topics or modules in this article, but do not feel confident in using them, please feel free to book on one of our ICT training courses or give us a call on 0844 967 1113 to discuss bespoke ICT training.

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